Tax vacant homes now

Sir, – Eoin Burke-Kennedy’s (Business, October 25) article highlighting that Ireland has the 10th highest vacancy rate in the world, comes against a backdrop of rising rents, exponential increases in housing prices and wholesale housing purchases by institutional owners.

That the vacant stock is sufficient to house 31 times as many homeless people is also particularly shocking, and frankly morally bankrupt. It is clear that the system is broken. More worryingly, it suggests that we can also repeat the mistakes of the last crash by facilitating overbuilding by ignoring the issue of vacant stocks.

An appropriate vacant housing tax, an Airbnb ban in large urban areas and areas of rental pressure, and a rent cap tied to the market value of the property (perhaps 2-5% of the value, with a higher percentage allowed dwellings) is urgently needed to encourage early rental of vacant dwellings.

These should come with heavy financial penalties for failure to report vacant homes and a punitive rate for institutional owners with more than five properties to discourage hoarding of homes and apartments, which keeps prices down. rental prices, defrauding students and professionals, and keeping many young people from being able to afford to buy in urban areas. – yours, etc.,

DIARMUID hICÍ,

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

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